On March 24, 2020, two alleged crypto Ponzi scheme operators have requested that a New Jersey federal court grant their release from jail over concerns that the facility will soon host a COVID-19 outbreak.
Matthew Goettsche and Jobadiah are accused of operating BitClub Network, a bogus investment scheme that they promoted as “the most transparent company in the history of the world” and “too big to fail.”
This request by suspected scammers comes at a time when the U.S derivatives markets regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a stern warning to the public that there is a surge in the number of crypto scammers trying to capitalize on Coronavirus fears.
In a statement issued on March 19, the CFTC underlined that they had received numerous fraud complaints involving digital assets that promise to deliver huge short-term profits amidst the increasing Coronavirus concerns.
More Coronavirus-Related Scams Involving Crypto
In related news, a recent March 19 report highlighted that online scammers were impersonating the World Health Organization (WHO), appealing to the public to give them donations in cryptocurrency to fight the COVID-19 epidemic.
Chester Wisniewski, a cyber-security expert, exposed the WHO impersonators in a March 19 tweet, posting a series of email screenshots from alleged fraudsters who are actively purporting to collect BTC for WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund that was launched on March 13, 2020.
Similarly, The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warned investors to watch out for coronavirus-related crypto scams.
The FCA wrote:
“These scams take many forms and could be about insurance policies, pensions transfers or high-return investment opportunities, including investments in crypto-assets.”
The FCA added that scammers are sophisticated, opportunistic and willing to try many things to separate investors from their money.
More Cases Of Crypto Scammers Exploiting the COVID-19
It seems that coronavirus scammers are now on the rise, using all the possible ways to mislead people into giving them money, especially in untraceable digital currencies.
Just recently, the U.K. law enforcement warned about coronavirus con artists asking for payments in BTC and other digital assets. Even more shockingly, coronavirus-themed ransomware known as CovidLock has been in circulation since the outbreak caught momentum.
The ransomware infects users’ devices and asks payment of $100 worth of Bitcoin in exchange for a password that would return control of the device to the owner.